Cars Coming Soon->Ram Brings Swagger Back to Trucks

Ram 1500 Adventurer

In the world of pickups, it seems the most exciting news over the last couple of years was the separation of the Ram brand from Dodge.

Yeah, the Ford F-150 got some new engines, and the HD heavyweights have been trading the crown for max trailer-towing capacity, but no maker of trucks has done anything significantly buzzworthy lately. Where’s the pickup swagger? The Ford Raptor has some, but it’s priced way out in fantasy-land for most truck buyers.

With the roll Chrysler’s been on since the Super Bowl, it should be no surprise that the feistiest of carmakers will add some much-needed excitement to the world of pickups.

Ram 1500 Adventurer rearA new variant of the Ram 1500, codenamed “Adventurer,” will focus on the sport truck market, offering something for young or first-time truck shoppers. The best part? The truck will come with a standard 390-horsepower Hemi V8. The worst part? The engine will come attached only to an automatic transmission.

The lack of a proper manual may be the only drawback on the Adventurer, though. The truck will come equipped with foglamps, 20-inch aluminum wheels, air conditioning, automatic headlamps, chrome-tipped dual exhaust, body-colored bumpers and a grille with honeycomb inserts.

The model will come only in regular cab and short-bed body styles, with either rear-wheel-drive or four-by-four drivetrains. Models will start at  just $23,830 (for a Hemi!), making it one of the most affordable V8 pickups on the market.

The Adventurer coincides with a contractor-ready V8 Ram 1500 called the Tradesman, which has a similar price, but gives up the performance look in favor of a standard Class IV trailer hitch, heavy-duty engine and transmission oil coolers, 17-inch painted steel wheels and heavy-duty shocks.

The Adventurer and Tradesman will go on sale in the second quarter of 2011.

Is there room in the market for a budget-oriented sport truck? I sure think so, and I give kudos to the Chrysler Group for seeing that.

-tgriffith

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